Cervical and Lumbar Facet Joint Injections for Chronic Low Back Pain - Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance
Are you battling with agonizing arthritis pain or chronic lower back or spine pain that conservative treatment just cannot seem to tame? Conditions such as facet syndrome and advanced spinal arthritis can leave you with permanent changes in your spinal column -- changes that may cause constant or recurring pain.
If you can't obtain relief from treatment methods such as exercise or standard pain-relieving medications, you should investigate the possibility of undergoing a treatment technique at our Torrance back pain clinic known as facet joint injection. These injections into the cervical or lumbar intervertebral joints can not only confirm the nature of your problem but also bring swift, long-lasting relief.
Understanding Facet Joint Problems
Facet joint injections are a safe, effective, minimally invasive treatment option performed by our expert arthritis doctors at Rolling Hills Medical. This procedure is used to help with back pain due to arthritis, degenerative disease of the spine, and trauma such as a car accident injury or accident.
The vertebrae of the spine are connected to each other along the posterior surface of the spine by pairs of joints called facet joints. These joints make it possible for your neck and back to move with their accustomed flexibility.
Like many other joints in the body, facet joints include a layer of cartilage and capsule filled with synovial fluid. These anti-friction components enable the joints to move easily and without pain -- but when something happens to damage them, they can actually become the source of chronic neck or lower back pain.
This outcome may occur in:
- Osteoarthritis - In osteoarthritis of the spine, the cartilage within the facet joints deteriorates and breaks up. The resulting bone-on-bone friction can cause severe pain and stiffness in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine. Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, and it tends to get worse and worse over time. Age, obesity, and overuse of the spine from athletic or work activities can all contribute to osteoarthritis.
- Facet syndrome - Facet syndrome involves chronic inflammation in the tissues of the facet joints, usually from degenerative changes in the spine. Bulging discs, for instance, tend to lose height as they bulge outward. Since discs normally provide a constant degree of space between the vertebrae, their collapse puts severe strain on the facet joints. Other degenerative conditions may also cause or contribute to facet syndrome.
Pain Management for a Variety of Chronic Conditions
Facet joint injections can provide the double benefit of diagnosis and pain relief. They fall into a category of treatment known as a nerve block. A mixture of anti-inflammatory steroid medication and anesthetic is injected into one or more specific facet joints. If your pain immediately disappears, it means that our team has pinpointed its precise origin, making it that much easier for the condition to be controlled going forward. At the same time, you receive pain relief that should last for months at a time.
Facet joint injections don't just have the ability to relieve neck, upper back, or lower back pain. A facet joint problem can sometimes refer pain to other parts of the body through the major nerve pathways. By relieving your pain at its source, facet joint injections can prove highly useful for treating many different troublesome symptoms, including:
What to Expect From Your Facet Joint Injection Appointment
We will give you some pre-appointment instructions to ensure that your facet joint injection is successful. You may be asked to refrain from eating, drinking, or the use of diabetic medications or blood thinners before your procedure. During the procedure itself, we will administer a sedative and sterilize the treatment area. Several small injections will numb the treatment area before we proceed with the actual facet joint injection. we use X-rays imaging to guide the injection with precise accuracy.
Your facet joint injection treatment will most likely take 30 minutes or less. If we decide to administer an additional procedure called radiofrequency neurotomy (which deadens the nerve even more completely), your appointment might last an hour. You'll be asked to avoid strenuous activities for a few days afterward, but a normal movement is healthy and encouraged.
Get All the Facts From Our Torrence CA Pain Management Specialist
Are you intrigued at the idea of saying goodbye to a pain that you thought would never leave you? If so, call Rolling Hills Medical 424-250-8699 to set up an appointment for facet joint injections with our Torrance CA pain management specialist.
Dr. Neil Ghodadra, MD
Dr. Ghodadra is well known for his surgical skill and his devotion to teaching and innovation in orthopedic surgery. He has authored over 65 textbook chapters and journal articles. Dr. Ghodadra was instrumental in developing a landmark technique for patients with recurrent shoulder instability.